79% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 3% Petite Sirah
The growing season began inauspiciously. May’s late showers resulted in shatter at flowering, reducing the crop by one-third. This, however, helped boost concentration in the remaining fruit, as the vines’ energy was directed to fewer grapes. Summer temperatures were even; the lighter crop and mild weather caused little stress in these old vines, allowing flavor and sugar levels to progress together, and at a moderate pace. Picked at ideal ripeness, the grapes were fully crushed, and fermented—uninoculated— to dryness in ten days. After a natural malolactic, the wine aged for ten months in air-dried american oak barrels. To enhance its elegance and focused fruit, we included carignane from the same vineyard. Fullflavored, and quite intense, this delicious zinfandel will begin to soften over the next one or two years, and develop further with an additional three to five years of cellaring.
This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road, in the hills on the far western edge of the Alexander Valley appellation. (Carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection.) The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted in the 1940s and ’50s on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home, where Stan Buchignani, grandson of the ranch’s founder, Dominico Cerruti, lives today.
Rainfall: Over sixty inches
Weather: Warm/hot summer days, cool night breezes.
Harvest Date: 16 September – 20 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.0°
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally-occurring yeasts. In-tank malolactic also carried out without inoculation.
Aging: Air-dried american oak barrels (15% new, 35% two and three years old, 50% five and six years old).
Time in Barrel: Ten months
Average Rating: 88.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 32
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